September '20

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RV PRO ➤ NEW MODEL YEAR PREVIEW September 2020 • RV PRO • 61 CARDINAL | WILDCAT Wildcat receives a clean launch this year since transitioning production plants. "We did a total revamp of the product line and really focused on nine floorplans, mostly 35 feet long or less," says Michael A Terlep, general manager. "We do have a mid-bunk floorplan closer to 40 feet, but we really wanted to focus in on a true mid-profile fifth wheel. It's Forest River's first true mid-profile." Terlep says they primarily focused on price point, falling between $40,000 and $55,000. "We focused on making it half-ton towable and other features like auto level, front windshields, wardrobe slides, solid-surface countertops and power theater seats," he says. "The response has been awesome and really, really positive." The product has a completely different look with white and black interior cabinet colors. The first floorplan built is the 336RLS, featuring a kitchen slide, living room dinette slide-out and king slide-out with walk-in closet and washer/dryer prep. In the Cardinal lineup, Terlep says there was a focus on creating separation between Limited and Luxury products. "We've enhanced Luxury and added some features to the Limited while keeping the price point between $40,000 and $50,000," he says. Luxury products received upgraded cabinets and countertops and rear fiberglass caps as standard. It now includes a Girard tankless water heater, Road Armor Suspension with wet bolts and an Insignia residential range and four-burner cooktop. The 390FBX floorplan recently launched, and Terlep says the front bath, rear kitchen floorplan is doing well. "We took the rear kitchen and reconfigured the front end to a his-and-her bathroom with a vanity for mom to get ready. She can sit down and scoot her chair under the countertop," he says. "We've had a ton of increase in demand and we've increased production in a responsible manner." CHEROKEE WOLF PACK Cherokee toy haulers will see a new fifth wheel and travel trailer floorplan this year. The 355Pack14 fifth wheel floorplan features a bath-and- a-half, an island in the kitchen and a 14-foot garage. "This will be our first triple slide unit," says Product Manager Chris Grathen. "We usually have one or two slides on our fifth wheels. We really had to have the triple slide to make it work and make it functional." The travel trailer floorplan is in the Gold Series, the 22gold13. "This is the smallest floorplan in our lineup," Grathen says. "Everything in our Gold Series seemed to be on the bigger side. There is no slide. It has an open concept with a 13-foot garage. This is geared toward the couple that has a motorcycle or golf cart, a smaller toy they want to take with them and tow with an SUV or half-ton-truck." The Gold Series still has bunks in the back, plus a manual pull-down top bunk. CHEROKEE WOLF PUP | GREY WOLF Cherokee receives an interior redesign utilizing a Thomas Expresso color to warm up traditional gray interiors. "Gray, you can see, has run its course," says Collin Spickler, product manager. "It's clearly trending out, so we switched over to the dark chocolate interior with soft gold accents on cabinet pulls and updated countertops. We spent a lot of time making everything bigger and sturdier. We use more rugged, yet softer fabrics. Just a lot higher quality." Countertops are twice as thick as before, and user-friendly touches have been added everywhere, including a bamboo sink cover that doubles as a cutting board. The bamboo material doesn't absorb water as easily as some other woods, which cuts down on bacteria. "From new sofas to dinettes, to vinyls to countertop colors, there's nothing we didn't touch," Spickler says. "We added to the Black Label line as well. We touched up everything across the board." Forest River's Cardinal brand received an update for 2021, with a focus on creating separation between the Limited and Luxury products, according to GM Michael A. Terlep.

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